Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House / The Money Pit


D: H.C. Potter

RKO (Norman Panama & Melvin Frank)

US 🇺🇸 1948

93 mins


W: Norman Panama & Melvin Frank

DP: James Wong Howe

Ed: Harry Marker

Mus: Leigh Harline

Cary Grant (Jim Blandings), Myrna Loy (Muriel Blandings), Melvyn Douglas (Bill Cole), Reginald Denny (Henry Simms), Sharyn Moffett (Joan Blandings), Connie Marshall (Betsy Blandings)

Growing up during the 1980s, I watched the Tom Hanks-Shelley Long comedy vehicle “The Money Pit” many times, unknowing that it was a loose remake of this 1948 screwball comedy starring Cary Grant & Muriel Blandings.

Grant does his usual act as Jim Blandings, an advertising executive whose family has become too big for their cramped New York City apartment & looks to purchase a 200-year-old farmhouse in rural Connecticut, but the fixer-upper opportunity turns out to put a strain on both his finances & his marriage as the costs to be bring the new home up to standard spiral out of control.

The humour here is far more astute and grounded, rather than the slapstick approach of the 1986 remake & it’s carried well by the two leads of Grant & Loy, with Melvyn Douglas also providing solid support as Jim’s lawyer friend, Bill Cole, of whom Jim becomes increasingly paranoid that he is having an affair with his wife.

Perhaps it doesn’t deliver many belly laughs, but it does have a number of amusing moments and it makes for a pleasant, light-hearted viewing experience.


Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

For anyone who's ever been deeply in love or deeply in debt
For anyone who's ever been deeply in love or deeply in debt
D: Richard Benjamin
Universal (Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy & Art Levinson)
US 1986
91 mins


W: David Giler [based on the screenplay "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" by Norman Panama & Melvin Frank]
DP: Gordon Willis
Ed: Jacqueline Cambas
Mus: Michel Colombier
PD: Patrizia Von Brandenstein

Tom Hanks (Walter Fielding), Shelley Long (Anna Crowley), Alexander Godunov (Max Beissart), Maureen Stapleton (Estelle), Joe Mantegna (Art Shirk), Philip Bosco (Curly), Josh Mostel (Jack Schnittman)

Tom Hanks & Shelley Long buy into the great American dream when they buy their first house, a small mansion at a bargain price.
Things fall apart however, including their relationship, soon after moving in and they bust the bank putting the property back into shape.
This remake of 1948 screwball comedy, Mr. Blanding's Builds His Dream House, gives Tom Hanks a great platform to showcase his comedy talents, but Shelley Long isn't really given too much to do.
Nevertheless, The Money Pit is one of the better and most enjoyable Hollywood remakes from the 1980's.

Tom Hanks in The Money Pit
Tom Hanks in The Money Pit